Fun Palaces: the history and architecture of the entertainment industry

Mike Higginbottom

Notice Period:
Emergency (maybe less than one week's notice)
Architectural and social history
Paid: Dependent on size of audience and distance travelled from South Yorkshire
23rd November 2017
Victorian Architecture | Theatres & Cinemas | Seaside | Piers

Fun Palaces focuses on types of architecture where rich effects were contrived with wit and ingenuity, often by fairly cheap means, to give the poorer classes of society at least a temporary experience of luxury, comfort and freedom.

Architects, designers and engineers transported customers from their mundane existence into luxurious surroundings at modest cost by the skilful use of inspired design, dedicated craftsmanship, skilful engineering and innovative materials.

The lecture and the study day both survey the variety of building-types and decorative styles to be found across England and Wales in pubs, hotels, spas and hydros, theatres and cinemas and the seaside, using examples from across England and Wales, including examples such as the Grand Hotel, Scarborough (Cuthbert Brodrick 1867), Llandudno Pier (James Brunlees 1877), Blackpool Tower and Winter Gardens (various architects, 1878-1939), the Philharmonic and Vines Hotels, Liverpool (Walter Thomas, 1898-1900 and 1907), the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds (William Wilkins 1819), the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield (W G R Sprague 1897) and the Granada Cinema, Tooting (Cecil Aubrey Masey & TheodoreKomisarjevsky 1931).

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About Mike Higginbottom

I am a freelance history lecturer specialising in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a background in university extramural education.

I offer distinctive, life-enhancing insights into the past, particularly the recent past, for people who enjoy visiting places and recognising the human stories behind this historical heritage.

I lecture for the Arts Society (formerly the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies [NADFAS]) in the UK, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Whether lecturing, writing or guiding tours, I provide detailed information in a lucid and entertaining way.  My publications and lectures are copiously illustrated, as much as possible using my own photography.

Mike Higginbottom Interesting Times is the brand for my history education work – tours, lectures and publications. My blog is a fund of interesting, sometimes quirky insights into places, people and historical events.

I'm based in Sheffield and willing to travel anywhere in the UK or further afield.

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